HELPING A CHILD IN YOUR HOME
Are you ready and willing to emotionally invest in the life of a child by offering a temporary or permanent home? New Horizons’ foster care and adoption program is looking for loving families to provide a home to children, ages birth to 18 years old.
Your family will be able to provide a safe place for a child or multiple children who have been through a traumatic and many times, abusive situation in their original home. We need foster parents who can give love and security to a child.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Have you been wondering what it takes to become a foster parent, adopt a child, or help a child through respite care? We know you have many questions and we are here to help! We want to help you and your family connect.
Be sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.
WHAT IS FOSTER CARE?
Foster care is an essential service for children who must live apart from their parents due to abuse or neglect while maintaining legal and usually, affectional ties. The value of family foster care is that it can respond to unique, individual needs of children and their families through the strength of family living, and through family and community support.
The goal of foster care is to provide opportunities for healing, growth, and development leading to healthier children and families. -National Commission of Family Foster Care
Children range in age from infants to older teens. The duration of stay depends on the child and their specific family situation. Sometimes a child will need to stay for an extended period of time, while others have short-term needs before being placed with kin. Foster care is meant to be a temporary situation for a child until a permanent living arrangement can be obtained.
We hold regular information meetings so you can learn the step-by-step process to foster or adopt. A New Horizons Case Manager will be there to answer any questions you may have.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who are the children most likely to need a foster/adoptive family?
- Children with history of abuse and/or neglect
- Children who are medically fragile
- Children born exposed to alcohol and other drugs
- Brother and sisters who want and need to be together
- Children of all races/ethnicity and all ages
Do all children who need foster/adoptive families have problems?
Over time, the sad and mad feelings and behaviors may gradually lessen as the child comes to know and trust you, and feel safe with you. Foster/Adoptive parents take pride in helping children catch up in school, teaching them to groom themselves, teaching children social skills, and helping them understand their past.
How long does it take before a child is placed in our home?
- The specific needs of the child, including the needs of the children already living in your home.
- Foster/Adoptive parents’ preference regarding age and sex
- Future plans for the children such as reunification, adoption or transitional living
- Preference of the children’s Caseworker with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
These are only a few examples of factors, which would determine how quickly a child might be placed in your home.
What are the qualifications to be a foster/adoptive parent?
Foster/Adoptive parents need to help children maintain contact with their birth families, not only because most children return to their families, but also because it is important for their self-esteem and identity. Visits between children and their families are important. New Horizons will work with you to arrange this contact. In most cases, foster/adoptive parents will monitor phone and letter contact, and may bring the children to the agency for visits.
How long does it take to become a foster/adoptive parent?
Why do we need special training?
Some people think that children who have been abused will feel grateful to be with another family. However, most children truly care about their parents, siblings, and other kin. Even though they have been abused, there probably were some good family times, too. One of the biggest challenges in fostering is to be sure that children never feel they have to “choose” between families, and that one family isn’t “better” than another. It takes patience, skill, and training to help children understand that birth families and foster families are different. It is okay to care about all our families.
What is involved in training?
Our agency requires prospective foster/adoptive parents to complete an average of 40 hours of training. Also, 40 hours of observation will be required if licensed as a Therapeutic Home. All of the required hours will be coordinated by the agency. State law provides licensing standards for foster/adoptive homes. The licensing standards exist to help the agency protect and safeguard the wellbeing of children in its care. In addition to these standards, our agency also has some requirements to help determine the appropriateness of foster/adoptive families who have applied to New Horizons.
What is involved in the licensing process?
Our agency will complete a background check for all adults and children age 14 and above in the prospective foster family to make sure they have never been the subject of any abuse or neglect report involving a child.
We are asking you to disclose very personal information to our agency, and understand that you may feel some discomfort and anxiety discussing these matters. We appreciate your willingness to share such personal information with us, and can assure you that everything you share with us is kept strictly confidential. Your interest in helping children means we have to work together as a team to achieve our mutual goals. An honest and open discussion between prospective foster parents and our agency is the beginning of a teamwork relationship that will benefit children. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
If it becomes clear that the residence, financial situation, application, or background check do not meet the requirements of licensing standards and New Horizons, we will share this information with the prospective foster/adoptive parents. Our commitment to honest and open communication with prospective foster/adoptive parents includes our responsibility to inform you when foster care and/or adoption is not possible because of your family’s current circumstances.
Financial and Legal
What does it cost to foster a child and how do finances work?
Foster/adoptive parents receive a check biweekly to help cover the cost of the child’s food, clothing, personal needs, mileage, and respite care.
The first check will not come the day the child is placed; foster parents need enough extra money in their budgets to support their own family and the new child or children until reimbursement arrives.
Do I have legal and financial responsibility for children placed in my home?
How Do I Start?
What do I do next if I am interested in becoming a foster/adoptive parent?
The only way to know if your home meets these requirements is to see it. We understand that the need to see your entire home may feel intrusive; however, we need to work together for the good of the children. During the visit to your home, we will also conduct an initial interview with both prospective foster/adoptive parents. Some of these questions may be personal, however, we must determine if your family is the “right fit” for our children.
The entire foster/adoptive family verification and training process is reviewed regularly by the New Horizons Foster Care Committee. You have the right, at any time, to stop the process if you do not feel this program is right for you and your family. New Horizons has the right to terminate the licensing process with a prospective family at any time if concerns arise in regards to the ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children in care.
FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION